About the Bitcoin Price Index
What is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index?
Launched in September 2013, the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBP) represents an average of bitcoin prices across leading global exchanges that meet criteria specified by the XBP. It is intended to serve as a standard retail price reference for industry participants and accounting professionals.
Going forward, the Bitcoin Price Index displayed on our site will use an updated API (not currently public). If you still wish to obtain XBP data for use in your service or product, you are free to use our public API. Please note that this is a deprecated version and will be available until further notice in 2019. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.
Which bitcoin exchanges does the XBP include?
The criteria for inclusion in the XBP are:
- USD exchanges must serve an international customer base.
- Exchange must provide a bid-offer spread for an immediate sale (offer) and an immediate purchase (bid).
- Minimum trade size must be less than 1,500 USD (9,000 CNY) or equivalent.
- Daily trading volume must meet minimum acceptable levels as determined by CoinDesk.
- Exchange must represent at least 5% of the total 30-day cumulative volume for all of the exchanges included in the XBP.
- The stated and/or actual time for a majority of fiat currency and bitcoin transfers (whether deposits or withdrawals) must not exceed two business days.
Currently, these bitcoin exchanges meet the criteria and are therefore included in the US dollar XBP calculation:
The following exchanges are included in the Chinese yuan XBP calculation:
How exactly is the XBP calculated?
The main features and criteria are as follows:
- The CoinDesk XBP is a simple average of leading XBT/USD and XBT/CNY exchange prices.
- The XBP is expressed as the midpoint of bid/ask spread.
- The XBP is updated every 60 seconds.
- If an exchange does not update its price for more than 30 minutes, it is omitted from the live XBP calculation until it is updated again.
- New index historical data commences on 1 July 2013.
- Prior index historical data is obtained via Mt. Gox.
- End-of-day high, low, and closing XBP is based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). As trades occur continuously, a day opens at 00:00:00 and closes at the end of 23:59:59, ie 00:00:00 of the next day.
- Non-USD and non-CNY XBP prices are implied based on rates obtained via openexchangerates.org.
- Any updates to the XBP criteria and formula shall occur as necessary.
Why is the XBP not volume-weighted?
The decision to apply a simple average, as opposed to a volume-weighted average, for the CoinDesk XBP was made because the bitcoin market currently lacks sufficient depth and regional liquidity.
Since trading volume now favors particular regions, a volume-weighted approach would not act as a proper global indicator, because each international bitcoin exchange is not equally available to all national trading participants.
A simple average does not favor a regional exchange with high volume and ensures that the XBP is meaningful for the largest number of market participants. Also, a simple average approach minimizes the impact of volume irregularities and accidentally excluding an exchange.
As overall liquidity improves and the number of global exchange choices increases, the impact of regional variances should diminish and a volume-weighted approach may become more appropriate.
Bitcoin price index data and the API has been used by many projects, tools, and journalists.
Some uses of the XBP are shown below:
- The New York Times
- Business Insider
- Wall Street Journal
- International Business Times
- Bitcoin Consumer Price Index
- BTC Report
We’d love to hear how you’re using the CoinDesk XBP!
CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index API
For free access to XBP data, please take a look at our API information page.
XBP change log
15th Oct 2017 09:35:00 UTC: BTCC removed temporarily from the XBP (CNY) due to continued performance issues with their API.
15th Oct 2017 09:30:00 UTC: Bitfinex added back into the XBP, OkCoin (USD) removed due to discontinuing USD trading at end of month.
21st Apr 2017 09:30:00 UTC: Bitfinex temporarily suspended from XBP due to fiat withdrawal/deposit issues.
23rd Feb 2017 09:30:00 UTC: Bitfinex re-added to the XBP.
23rd Feb 2017 09:25:00 UTC: Huobi removed from the XBP (CNY) due to continued performance issues with their API.
3rd Aug 2016 20:25:00 UTC: Bitfinex temporarily suspended from the XBP.
5th Nov 2015 11:00:00 UTC: The sixth criterion of the XBP was amended so that the stated and/or actual time for a majority of fiat currency and bitcoin transfers (whether deposits or withdrawals) must not exceed two business days. BTC-E removed from the XBP.
21st Jul 2015 15:00:00 UTC: Coinbase and itBit added to the XBP. The minimum acceptable volume criterion was amended so that each exchange must represent at least 5% of the total 30-day cumulative volume for all exchanges in the XBP.
25th Jun 2015 16:00:00 UTC: LakeBTC removed from the XBP due to continued performance issues with their API.
1st Mar 2015 00:00:00 UTC: itBit removed from the XBP for failing to meet CoinDesk XBP minimum acceptable criteria.
29th Jan 2015 21:00:00 UTC: LakeBTC re-added to the XBP.
10th Jan 2015 01:45:00 UTC: Bitstamp re-added to the XBP.
5th Jan 2015 09:43:00 UTC: Bitstamp temporarily suspended from the XBP.
30th Dec 2014 15:00:00 UTC: LakeBTC remains suspended from the XBP for another 30 days while we continue to review their price data.
30th Nov 2014 15:00:00 UTC: LakeBTC remains suspended from the XBP for another 30 days while we continue to review their price data.
25th Nov 2014 15:00:00 UTC: The sixth criterion for inclusion in the XBP was amended to allow bitcoin transfers to take up to two business days, rather than up to 24 hours. OKCoin and itBit were added to the USD XBP.
31st Oct 2014 15:00:00 UTC: LakeBTC was suspended from the XBP for 30 days.
30th Mar 2014 00:00:00 UTC: End-of-day open, high, low and closing XBP is now based on Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) time. The XBP does not adjust to follow British Standard Time.
26th Mar 2014 23:00:00 UTC: New standalone China Bitcoin Price Index created based on the price and volume of bitcoins exchanged for Chinese yuan (CNY); two exchanges included at launch (BTC China and OKCoin).
10th Feb 2014 15:30:00 UTC: The sixth criterion for inclusion in the XBP was amended to include the option for bitcoin transfers to be completed within seven days in place of fiat transfers.
28th Nov 2013 12:00:00 UTC: Mt. Gox was added to the XBP due to a reduction in the risk premium and the option of additional deposit/withdrawal methods.
7th Nov 2013 00:00:00 UTC: CampBX was removed from the XBP due to sustained diminishing volume and a lack of regular 24-hour trading activity.
4th Nov 2013 12:00:00 UTC: The minimum acceptable volume criterion was amended so that each exchange must represent at least 2% of the total 30-day cumulative volume for all exchanges in the XBP.
20th Sep 2013 12:00:00 UTC: A criterion was added specifying that exchange daily trading volumes must meet minimum acceptable levels as determined by CoinDesk.
The CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index is a composite price and not intended for use for investment purposes. Nothing published by CoinDesk constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or written content published by CoinDesk be relied upon for any investment activities. CoinDesk strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.